Advanced Television

Sky ends YouTube pay talks as site talks subs

December 16, 2009

BSkyB has ended talks with Google about the opportunity for its pay-TV content to be made available on YouTube.

Sky said : “The pay model is at the heart of our business and allows us to invest significantly in high-quality, distinctive content.While we do offer some content on a free basis via both the TV and the web, we have no plans to offer long-form content online outside of the paid-for model.”

Rupert Murdoch and his executives at News Corporation, the majority owner of BSkyB, have recently labeled Google and other search and aggregator sites “parasites”, “content kleptomaniacs”, and “tech tapeworms”.

The Sky walk out comes as You Tube confirms it is considering a pay-TV model. Google’s vice president of content partnerships, David Eun, told Reuters some full-length shows would not be available to YouTube under its current advertising model. “We’re making some interesting bets on long-form content; not all content is accessible to us with the advertising model.” Eun said content partners will be able to choose what works best for them.

Some of the options being considered by YouTube include variations of monthly subscription models. Another option is a movie rental model similar to iTunes or Amazon. YouTube has held talks about rentals with Lions Gate Entertainment, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros.

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